by Joy Watts

EO-Joyful Parade 2011
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East Ohio ’s annual conference began with a sign of hope.  Sam Byrd, carrying the the Christ candle in the opening processional, wore a rainbow stole!

This year one of East Ohio RMN’s goals was to be more visible.  A fun sewing party was had  and many people were courageous enough to wear their rainbow stoles the whole conference! Another goal was to work to elect a progressive slate of delegates to General Conference. A coalition was formed, a list of delegates to support (with their permission) was created, handouts (updatedperiodically) were offered outside the doors of the auditorium. It was hard late night, early morning, rushed break work, but the results were very encouraging!

On Wednesday,  our Joyful Parade participants gave out colorful balloons saying Reconciling Ministries Network and sang We Are Marching in the Light of God as they led the way to our annual worship and communion service. Each year Mary Ann Carlson, a former RMN board member, invites someone of national prominence to preach.  This year we were blessed with the DYNAMIC preaching of Rev. Janet Wolf!  Following the service, we took part in many great conversations at the Ministries Fair, where our rainbow stoles and Believe Out Loud pins were hot items!

Following conference, we were provided with the words of a clergy person who withdrew her credentials from the United Methodist Church to pursue a more authentic life in the Episcopal church with her partner and family.  We thank her for turning the floor of conference into holy ground, and, for not going silently.

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